Loggie’s Key Spouse Wins Big

Written by: Erin Beene
2023 Minot AFB Key Spouse of the Year, Sarah Weidman and her family, TSgt James Weidman 5 LRS and their children Grace and Hunter.
Girl Scout cookie boxes serve as a backdrop for Troop Leader Sarah and Cookie Manager Jourdan Carrell in 2023.

Did you know that prior to the late 1980s the military was actually allowed to dictate more about military spouses’ lives? Yep, that’s right. Though not actually written down as binding, spouses were de facto included in the servicemembers’ obligations and were required to attend events, volunteer and even not work outside the home. These expectations prevailed across the Services until the 1988 Blue Ribbon Panel challenged that unspoken rule.

Today, mil spouses don’t legally have to do anything for the military. There are no “rules’’ dictating their occupations, attendance at official events or even that they live with their spouse. What if they are proud mil spouses who serve and work tirelessly to support the military and their families? Well, this story hopes to recognize one of those who does indeed that. While there are spouses all over the AF who volunteer tirelessly, one spouse in particular at Minot AFB goes above and beyond any mil spouse expectation. Her name is Sarah Weidman.

Minot AFB Spouses’ Club Karaoke Social

Many of those who mosey around base have probably seen Sarah out and about without even knowing it. Most recognizably, Sarah is the President of the Minot AFB Spouses Club. This club is a place where mil spouses all over the base -servicemember’s rank not a factor- gather for monthly socials and community. The Minot AFB Spouses Club is hosting their next social, Mad Hatter Bunco, on May 31. Additionally, the Spouses Club supports the on-base Thrift Shop, in which proceeds go to scholarships and helping out organizations and events on the base year-round. Sarah often can be found at the Thrift Shop going through donations or behind the counter ringing up customers. She said she loves the Thrift Shop so much and wishes she could hang out there all the time.

When asked why she thought spouses should join the Minot AFB Spouses Club and what it means to her, Sarah replied, “I think it is the camaraderie. You get to have something that you get to all your own. Our [Active Duty] spouses are always told to join certain organizations, but this is something that is literally just for [mil] spouses only. You get to have just a piece of something that you get to own, which has been really helpful for me up here. It’s just having a place and spot where I get to own something for myself that has nothing to do with [my AD spouse].”

As a Key Spouse for the 5th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Sarah assists the squadron booster club, reaches out to incoming spouses in the unit, is available for spouse and family members during times of need and just offers a friendly presence amongst the squadron. She mentioned that she does it all because she simply loves the Airmen and the squadron and the community that it offers. She has been a Key Spouse at various units for the past 5 years.

On top of all this volunteer work, Sarah is also a homeschool mom to her two elementary aged kids, Grace & Hunter. She also volunteers as the Girl Scout Service Leader Management and is the Brownies leader for her daughter’s troop. She and her husband also run a side woodworking business from their home, so to say she is busy is an understatement.

Sarah is married to Tech. Sgt. James Weidman, 5 LRS, and has been a mil spouse for 14 years, being at Minot for two of those years. She has conquered so much in her time here that it caught the attention of Master Sgt. Michael Felicio, 5 LRS, who then submitted an awards package for Sarah, with the help of Sarah’s husband, nominating her for the official “Key Spouse” recognition. Because of that push, Sarah was later honored as the “Key Spouse of the Year” at the 5th Mission Support Group level in early 2023. In April of this year at the 5th Bomb Wing Annual Awards Ceremony she was honored further when it was announced that she won the “Key Spouse of the Year” for Minot AFB. If that doesn’t show enough of her accolades, a few weeks after that, the 5 LRS Commander, Lt. Col. Allen Agnes, announced that she was officially selected as the “8th AF Key Spouse of the Year.” The next level of “competition” for Sarah is the Major Command level (there are nine in the Air Force). Then, If Sarah wins at this level she would compete for the “Air Force Key Spouse of the Year!”

While the word “compete” is used, the award is actually utilized to recognize the extreme dedication and self-sacrifice of hard work that certain spouses choose to do all over the military. It recognizes those spouses who go above and beyond to support their Active Duty spouse by volunteering for the base, community and spouses squadron. No matter whether Sarah continues on to be “Key Spouse of the Year’’ for the whole Air Force, Minot AFB is thrilled to have her on the team. Sarah’s and all MAFB spouse’s volunteer contributions to the USAF are not required, but are extremely valuable in keeping the military families connected.

Good luck Sarah and we are so thankful for your dedication, service and support of Minot AFB!

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